Simple pleasures

Treat Yo'Self, Updated 2024 Edition

February 09, 2024

Photo by Harper Sunday on Unsplash

Seven years ago, I wrote a post called “Treat YoSelf: 25 Simple Pleasures to Brighten Your Day.” It’s time to update that list, and since my “support” words for 2024 are restore and gentle, this post will emphasize gentle, restorative ideas—with a few active ideas thrown in for the days when you’re feeling more energetic!

I still highly recommend taking naps, buying fresh flowers, sipping hot drinks, and lounging in fresh sheets, but here are 10 more simple pleasures to brighten your day. (I have no affiliation with any brands mentioned—I just like them.) 

  1. Soak in hot water—in a bath, shower, or if you’re lucky, a spa or hot spring. Let all the knots in your muscles unwind.
  2. Give your hands and feet some TLC. Rich lotion, self-massage (try rolling a tennis ball under your foot), a manicure, a pedicure. My fingernails almost always look ragged and uneven, so I’m setting aside time on Sunday evenings to take care of them, even if that only means pulling out a nail file.
  3. Burn a seasonal scented candle. Changing up scented candles with the seasons has been surprisingly fun. I’m currently alternating a fir-scented candle and Yankee Candle’s Jack Frost.
  4. Make a seasonal fun list. I got this idea from Laura Vanderkam, and I love how it forces me to think ahead about what fun things I can do each season. I haven’t made my winter fun list yet, and winter is fast slipping away! 
  5. Go to the county or state fair. I’ve always had a soft spot for state fairs, and Florida’s state fair just started. I haven’t attended for a few years, so maybe this weekend… 
  6. Spend some time in a room lit only by candles. Combine with number 1 on this list, or sit in the glow of the flame and just be.
  7. Find some really good pens to write with. These are my current favorites. 
  8. Make yourself a special breakfast. One of my favorites is toasted sourdough bread topped with melted smoked cheese, mashed avocado, and an over-easy egg.
  9. Tell someone you love them. I’ve really been missing my mom this week and wish I could tell her I love her one more time.
  10. Lean in to your favorite hobby. Allow yourself to daydream about it, set aside time to do it, and if appropriate, buy yourself something that will help you do it better/easier/with more enjoyment.

Go forth and treat yo’self!

What would you add to this list?





Fall Rerun--Treat Yo'self: 25 Simple Pleasures to Brighten Your Day

September 23, 2019

It’s the first first day of fall, and I’m enjoying some time off from blogging. This post, from Sept. 2016, is still one of my favorites. Do you have any simple pleasures you can add to the list?

I recently participated in Sarah Jenks’ Live More Challenge. For two weeks, I put more thought into what would make life more delicious, what would feed my life (rather than just my body), and for two weeks I noticed a genuine lightening of my spirits. I looked forward to each day’s challenge. I also learned that living more required planning, and I need to make time for fun every day. (You can see my Live More posts if you follow me on Instagram.)  

While this may sound frivolous in the face of this world’s tragedies, I’ve learned that my being unhappy will not make this world safer or better. My being happy, however, just might rub off on those around me, and help someone else feel better, too. So with that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of 25 simple pleasures for us to try. Won’t you join me?

1. Instead of a blaring alarm clock, wake up to music, nature sounds, or something else that pleases your ear.

2. Call a friend—or (gasp!) write a letter.

3. Take a nap (I won’t tell). 

4. Crank up some music. Choose music from the time you were happiest for an extra boost. 

5. Clean or declutter a drawer or shelf.

6. Bake something and share with a friend or neighbor.

7. Read, sketch, or simply people watch at a coffee shop. If you’re into pumpkin spice lattes, now’s the time to order one! 

8. Go picking—find an orchard or farm that hosts you pick opportunities and fill a basket or bag with fresh produce.

9. Finish a project. Whether it’s a bathroom update or an art project, fixing something that’s broken, or mending an item of clothing.

10. Buy one perfect treat (cupcake, scone, handmade chocolate, glass of wine, etc.). Consume it without any distractions and enjoy every mouthful.

11. Buy or collect fresh flowers. Find a place to put them where the cat won’t eat them. (Or is this a problem only I have?)

12. Schedule a field trip to explore someplace new. Or revisit a place you love—your choice.

13. Perform an anonymous act of kindness.

14. Look the cashier (or the server, or the librarian) in the eye and smile.

15. You know that pile of magazines you’ve been meaning to read? Grab it and curl up in bed for a couple of hours.

16. Take a walk in your neighborhood with your camera or phone. Take photos of your favorite places and things—anything that grabs your attention. 

17. Sit comfortably for 10 minutes and do nothing. (It’s harder than it sounds.)

18. Take a class, in person or online. Choose something you’ve always wanted to try. Some fun ones I’ve come across: soap making, altered journals, aromatherapy, wine making. Of course, I highly recommend my friend Laure’s art classes.

19. Drink a cold glass of water. You’ll be refreshed and energized—just watch out for brain freeze.

20. Tell someone a joke.

21. Sip a hot cup of tea, coffee, or cocoa.

22. Rewatch your favorite movie. Maybe even eat some popcorn.

23. Sit outside, close your eyes and listen. See if you can identify five different sounds.

24. Groom your dog/cat/rabbit/ferret/horse. Give him or her treats and extra love. I still miss my dog so much, so be sure you enjoy them while you have them. 

25. Put fresh sheets on the bed and get in bed early to read.

So go forth and treat yo’self. Life should be enjoyed, not just endured!

I’ve listed only a few simple pleasures. What can you add to this list?

“The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others.”
—Dr. Sonya Friedman

Erma Bombeck

The Real Reason We Call It Thanksgiving

November 19, 2012

Photo courtesy S. Brown

“What we're really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets.  I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving?”
—Erma Bombeck

May your Thanksgiving be filled with happiness and all the treats that spell “holiday” for you.



October 01, 2012

What is this thing? It smells like treats.
Nope, can't fit the whole thing in my mouth...
Maybe if I use my mind powers on it.
C'mon, man!

Ohhh, if I roll it, treats fall out!


Treat Yourself

August 01, 2012

“One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats.”
—Iris Murdoch

How will you treat yourself today?